Growing up in my family, there was a celebration for everything. If it was big sister’s birthday…there was a party. If Dad got a raise…there was a party. If Uncle got remarried for the third time…there was a party. If Paco got his 5th divorce, had his 7th baby, got engaged again, and his mistress got a boob job…party.
We had a celebration for everything. It was the best part of growing up. The food, the games, the family and friends all together. It was all so wonderful. As I started getting older, the parties became fewer. Until there were none. Our family had many dents and bruises, issues that, till this day still need to be addressed, but remain untouched. As family problems increased, the bond of our family decreased. Until eventually ceased.
I grew up with thoughts embedded in my brain that I was the main point of all the problems in our home. So it was natural for me to always feel down about myself and assume that I would never amount to anything. Until one day I did. I got my GED, I got my first college degree, I left NY for a better life and am actually doing very well…but yet, I celebrate these joys alone. At least, thats how I feel.
My daughter asked me a few weeks back if I felt as if I needed validation from family members in order to feel better about myself. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that question. I did know how to respond to it however. I told her I didn’t need validation or recognition, but a pat on the shoulder, a congratulations, and most importantly, the words “I am proud of you” would have made a great difference. I think that the reason I felt like I wanted to hear those words (Not needed, but wanted) was because I’ve felt all my life like I was a failure. Like I wasn’t worth pursuing any dreams, goals, or aspirations. Because that was what was embedded in my brain. “Marlyn, you’re a piece of shit and will never be anything more!”.
Yeah well, it’s the truth. Even after I received my college degree, I still felt alone in my joy. Even today. Today I have achieved so much but yet feel so little. As if I haven’t “done enough”. But what is enough? When is it enough? When will reaching the highest of your goals be enough to finally feel happy? That will always remain an unanswered question, at least for me.
I’ve been given praise for positive goals and milestones that I have reached, but have always celebrated my success by myself. Although sharing my happiness with others, I guess it just wasn’t enough for me. I have and still feel that some people were just not that happy and could care less for what I have overcome.
But I move forward and continue to pursue my ultimate goals. I am not done yet. At 41, I still have so many things to finish and I will finish them. I spent the majority of my life extending my hand to others that I have always forget about me. Now that I am working on myself, there are people ot there who still feel doubt and what I do is never enough to prove them different.
These are just feelings that I hold inside and now with the world. So to hell with those who don’t care to feel joy about my joy. Even if its just a bottle of hair oil that was too expensive for me to purchase, but managed to because the item had so many great reviews and being that I have trouble growing my hair, I feel joy that maybe, just maybe, I finally found a product to help it grow again.
So if you have something to celebrate, something you’ve struggled for years to achieve, go for it. Don’t be ashamed to celebrate alone. It’s your joy, your happiness. Never let anyone steal your thunder. Be the calm that conquered the storm.